Dan Vera


Dan Vera (?-present) is a Cuban American writer, editor, and watercolorist from Southern Texas currently residing in Washington, DC. He is the author of Speaking Wiri Wiri and The Space Between Our Danger and Delight. He co-founded VRZHU Press, is the publisher of Souvenir Spoon Press, and is the managing editor of White Crane.  Source

Emily Dickinson at the Poetry Slam

I will tell you why she rarely ventured from her house. 

It happened like this:


One day she took the train to Boston,

made her way to the darkened room,

put her name down in cursive script

and waited her turn. 


When they read her name aloud

she made her way to the stage

straightened the papers in her hands —

pages and envelopes, the backs of grocery bills,

she closed her eyes for a minute,

took a breath, 

and began. 


From her mouth perfect words exploded,

intact formulas of light and darkness.

She dared to rhyme with words like cochineal

and described the skies like diadem. 

Obscurely worded incantations filled the room

with an alchemy that made the very molecules quake.


The solitary words she handled

in her upstairs room with keen precision

came rumbling out to make the electric lights flicker.


40 members of the audience 

were treated for hypertension.

20 year old dark haired beauties found their heads

had turned a Moses White.


Her second poem erased the memory of every cellphone

in the nightclub,

and by the fourth line of the sixth verse

the grandmother in the upstairs apartment 

had been cured of her rheumatism. 


The papers reported the power outages. 

The area hospitals taxed their emergency generators

and sirens were heard to wail through the night.


Quietly she made her way to the exit,

walked to the terminal and rode back to Amherst. 


She never left her room again

and never read such syllables aloud. 





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Memory & The Past

Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work

Interrupted Clause

a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses